Since I last wrote I finished my first half marathon on November 3rd. I reached 2 of 3 goals and just barely missed the third.

1) I completed the half marathon

2) I ran the entire race (minus the few water stations where I had to walk)

3) Finish in 2:30 – This is the one I just missed. I came in at 2:31:51 seconds. My goal for PF Chang’s Rock N Roll Half will be 2:30 or less. I think I can do that.

The weather was pretty decent. It was a little warm by the end but perfect to start off. The route was great. My only complaint is they put a photographer at the top of the biggest hill. We don’t have many of those in Phoenix so it takes a lot of effort to push through them. I did not look pretty when I reached the top.

During the first mile I wasn’t sure I was even going to be able to run. I tried to start off fairly slow, and I was pretty slow but not out of choice. I was having some horrible shin splints. I was nearly in tears. I thought about giving up. I convinced myself to stick with it and by mile two/three I was feeling much better.

I started off so slow that I didn’t pass the 2:45 pace group until about mile 5. I never did catch up to, or even see, the 2:30 pace group. They must have went much faster than 2:30.

womens half

I ordered this picture with a fancy frame that shows my name and finish time.

It felt so amazing to cross the finish line. I completed 13.1 miles. If you had told my 14-year-old self that I would even think about a half marathon at 33 she would have laughed at you. I used to hate running. Mostly because my asthma was so bad and I didn’t have any control over it at that time (and the drugs they gave me did nothing).

I took a week off and have been slowly adding miles again. I ran 4.28 miles yesterday. I am trying to add between .25 and .75 each time I run. I am feeling good and moving faster. The weather has been so great.

Saturday I have a virtual 5K. I ran the real 5K last year. I hope to beat my time, although without the race setting I tend to pace fairly slow. I will have to push myself. Maybe wearing the bib will help.



I’m number 3, watch for me on the road! (I won’t be wearing the race t-shirt. It is long sleeve!)

After my virtual race I am planning a Thanksgiving Day race. I am debating between a 10K or 10 miles. I am currently leaning toward the 10K since I haven’t been logging as many miles. After that I have a few races planned in December and January to keep me out of trouble!


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.